Apartments out in latest Sprayberry Crossing design

Chart Riggall, Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.
·3 min read

May 3—Developers have struck a controversial feature in the latest design of Sprayberry Crossing, set to be considered by the Cobb Planning Commission Tuesday.

In place of 125 multi-family apartments, a new site plan submitted by Atlantic Realty Partners shows the real estate has been split into additional senior housing and townhomes. The number of those units was increased by 47 and 62 units, respectively.

The apartments proposed for the near-18 acre redevelopment of a blighted shopping center have long been one of the design's most controversial provisions. Nearby residents have claimed the apartments—which Atlantic said would start at $1,400 per month—will attract transient and low-income individuals to east Cobb.

Attorney Kevin Moore, who represents Atlantic, has previously said the opposition to the apartments comes from "misinformed" and "antiquated" views. While he reiterated his position that he found the anti-apartment sentiment unfair, Moore told the MDJ it ultimately made more sense to reach a compromise with neighbors.

"The site needs to be redeveloped," Moore said. "We believe that effort involves working with the community and trying to address concerns and ... we were able to do that. And that just shows you that the zoning process can and does work."

Even with the new layout, the development is likely to still engender plenty of public comment. When the project was considered at last month's zoning hearing, hundreds of individuals signed up online in the hopes of weighing in. Dozens more crowded into the board meeting room. The project was ultimately held for a month to allow for revisions to the project.

Sprayberry Crossing won't be the only site with more than a few eyes on it Tuesday. Also back up from last month is North Point Ministries' proposed overhaul of 33 acres at Johnson Ferry and Shallowford roads. The Alpharetta-based megachurch wants to build a 110,000 square foot location on the site, along with residential space.

As with Sprayberry, North Point has made several changes to its design since April. East Cobb Planning Commissioner Tony Waybright noted "a substantial number of the originally proposed townhomes" have been retooled into single-family homes (lowering the townhome count from 110 to 72 units). And a large portion of the area intended for retail space is now being pitched as an additional residential area.

Waybright is reserving judgment, at least publicly, until after the new design is presented Tuesday. Public comment continues to roll in; Waybright said on Monday emails both for and against the proposal were coming at a healthy clip of about one per minute.

At the other end of the county, Green Line Partners has also amended its application to build a 67-home subdivision on Queen Mill Road in Mableton. A previous version faced criticism both from the Planning Commission and the Mableton Improvement Coalition that the homes would clash with the low-density feel of the area.

Tuesday's meeting will be the last to be helmed by Planning Commission Chairman Galt Porter, who announced his resignation from the body last month. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta.